David Lawrence Jr. and Vance Aloupis spend their days advocating for children, creating early intervention programs and looking at ways to secure health insurance for all kids.
To recognize those efforts, the University of Florida’s Bob Graham Center for Public Policy named Lawrence as its 2014 Citizen of the Year winner, and Aloupis as the 2014 as the Young Floridian award recipient. The annual awards recognize people who have made a substantial contribution to the community on behalf of children.
Lawrence, the former publisher of the Miami Herald, now serves as the chairman of The Children’s Movement of Florida and the president of The Early Childhood Initiative Foundation. In 2002, he campaigned for The Children’s Trusts, a dedicated funding source for programs for children. Lawrence, who is also an Education and Community Leadership Scholar at the University of Miami School of Education and Human Development, pushed for a statewide constitutional amendment that provides pre-kindergarten for all 4-year-old children
Aloupis, who is the state director for The Children’s Movement of Florida, works with Lawrence to build statewide awareness about the need for early childhood education. The former student body president at the University of Miami was the Judge Peter Palermo Fellow in the University of Miami Center for Ethics and Public Service’s Street Law program.
Lawrence and Aloupis will be recognized June 3 at the Annual Graham Gathering at Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando.